The Golden State Warriors know a thing or two about waiting patiently for a star player to return from injury. Some would say they’ve grown far too familiar with the concept over the years.
While the Dubs appear to finally be over the hump with the return of Klay Thompson and the news that Stephen Curry is on pace to be back for the playoffs — the Denver Nuggets are hoping to get their own secret weapon for the postseason.
Jamal Murray has missed all but 48 games since the 2020 bubble and is reportedly nearing a return for Denver. The dynamic high-scoring guard provides exactly the type of firepower needed for Nikola Jokic to propel the Nuggets to a new level.
Jamal Murray’s return could be a problem for the Golden State Warriors if they match up with the Denver Nuggets in the first round.
The last time Murray competed in the playoffs, he averaged 26.5 points on 45.3% 3-point shooting as the Nuggets reached the Western Conference Finals. His ability to orchestrate the pick-and-roll with Jokic makes for a deadly duo.
As of now, the Dubs are slated to clash with the Nuggets in round one of the playoffs. However, Denver and Dallas are tied in the standings, meaning it could go either way at this point.
If the Warriors draw Denver in the first round, Murray poses an interesting threat. He will have little time to ramp up for playoff intensity as he has been sidelined for an entire year. Still, there is no denying his potential to be an x-factor.
Luckily, Golden State has a strong collection of defenders to harass Murray. Gary Payton, Klay Thompson and Andrew Wiggins can trap him on the perimeter while frontcourt defenders like Draymond Green, Jonathan Kuminga and Juan Toscano-Anderson can all make life difficult in pick-and-roll matchups.
Murray’s return will put an additional strain on the Dubs but it should not be anything they can’t overcome.